The 38 km trek across the dry salt bed of Lake Frome in Northern Flinders Ranges has separated the field on day two of XPD, the 10-day 700 km race across outback South Australia. Teams Mountain Designs and Outer Limits now have a clear lead, with over 120 km separating them from the tail end teams.
Mountain Designs ran across Lake Frome in 10 hours, completing the stage in the relative coolness of nighttime. Bivouac Colts, a New Zealand team tipped to be in contention to win this Adventure World Series Race, took 19 hours to complete the seemingly endless slog across the salt lake. Clearly they were not used to the hot, dry and flat conditions of outback Australia.
"It is very HOT out there - temperatures are 10 to 15 degrees above average" says Event Director, Louise Foulkes.
"Some teams have been suffering from the heat and [have] elected to miss a checkpoint."
"No one has pulled out in what are very difficult conditions"
Some teams will catch a few hours sleep at the end of Lake Frome before setting off on the next stage - a 90km mountain bike ride on red sand tracks across remote Wirrealpa Station. Unseasonably hot conditions are forecast to continue, with a cooler change not expected until next week.
The winning team will gain free entry into the Adventure Racing World Championships in Costa Rica later this year.